HR – How to Celebrate and Build Inclusion

Human resource managers are the gatekeepers of corporate culture and are responsible for the organization’s event calendar.

There’s a right way to celebrate and a wrong way.

When planning events, you may want to be sensitive to diverse employees and our society as a whole.

Hosting a Christmas party or an Easter celebration is iffy.

That’s why we see so many “holiday parties” in December. After all, Christians celebrate Christmas and Catholics, the Immaculate Conception; Muslims observe Asura; and Jews celebrate Hanukkah. Buddhists and Pagans also celebrate holidays in December.

SHRM advises HR professionals “not to assume every employee celebrates holidays in the same way.”

It’s in the job description to foster a positive culture – one of belonging, motivation, engagement and pride in the company.

Promote inclusion and teamwork instead of religious holidays.

To include everyone in the organization, host a thank-you day near the end of the year to celebrate your employees and thank them for their productive hard work.

In addition, celebrate diversity by observing Women’s Day, Mental Health Awareness week and Diversity Week.

Celebrate obscure holidays like food-oriented Pineapple Day (June) or National Salad Month (May), while stressing the importance of healthy food.

Use National Blood Pressure Month to bring in a health provider to measure blood pressure and overall health assessments, or National Photography Month (May) by holding an office photo contest. The prize could be a day off.

Women’s Day (March) and World Health Day (April) or National Diversity Day to celebrate everyone in the workplace.

Keep celebrations from becoming mundane by throwing in obscure holidays – celebrations for seemingly no real reason. However, the goal is fun – happy employees are more productive; reinforcing good feelings about the company – good for public relations and recruitment; and reinforcing your corporate values – positivity.

Remember that work celebrations are temporary, but over time, if you incorporate the company’s values, these celebrations may have a lasting effect.

To prove to upper management that what you’re doing is having a positive effect, you can measure what you’re doing, what was done before and what can be different next time and the goals and results of each event.

Asking employees for input on which days they really want to celebrate and what the celebration looks like is important.

Building a positive, strong workplace is essential to any organization. Make sure yours is diverse and inclusive.


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Tamera Shaw is a freelance writer for Insured Solutions based in Louisville, Kentucky. She writes fiction and enjoys amateur photography. She happily shares her life with husband Ron, daughter Cate and sage cat, Sophie, who grudgingly shares her home with the newest member of our family – Nieko, our new kitten.
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